I am tempted to buy into this “argument” for some reason or other, maybe it’s because having touched on the subject with another blogger, I feel dissatisfied with the result being inconclusive.
Jesus never sinned. This was because within his conscious self he was absolutely certain of his identity as the Son of God. If we consider sinning to be as the result of falling to temptation, then this never happened to him as it does to us.
Even though the temptations presented to him were far stronger (because HE was far stronger) than those presented to us, he refused to abandon his identity as Son of God. He was connected to His Father, and only did as He was told. He was not “robotic”, he had his “own” will, but that will was continually in submission to God. [for the glory set before him]. He was in love relationship with his Father. [which relationship was always present]
So it was his SPIRIT that was perfect and remained perfect throughout.
Contrastingly, his FLESH was of the same nature as ours. Deficient, weak, faulty. Doomed to die. Whether we consider the temptations to be inwardly derived or externally communicated, the results may be identical. In both cases we can see that man is cleansed on the basis of Jesus bearing the uncleanness for us, something we could not do ourselves.
The difference in the two approaches is that the tempter is seen to be either outside or inside of man. If outside, then that which Jesus achieved was simply remaining pure in the face of temptation that otherwise would have destroyed a normal man. Then because he “remained” pure, he was worthy of immortality. Faith in death overcome, then changes man’s heart to cleansed status.
If inside, then there were specific problems related to humanity itself, which needed to be “fixed up.” Man had become a servant of “satan”. Human nature contained self destructive elements that had their root in the condemnation that he felt because of death. Certainly this could be addressed by faith, as mentioned above. But what is apparent is that there was a problem with man that was pre-existant, that was I suppose what you would call ORIGINAL SIN.
So then, is man defective in some biological way or not? Are the processes that take him to the grave, capable of being reversed by faith? Or not?
Did Jesus need to intervene in said defective biology, or not?.
Well, faith or no faith, we all die. Faith takes hold of the promise and in believing that all is well, proceeds towards the grave in the belief that its effects have been rendered impotent in the long run. Because of the new life in Christ that changes us, we also with him are able to be resurrected. What of any damaged DNA or structure of the body?
That would seem of no matter then? But though it be of no matter in us, it would certainly have been a matter of concern “in Him”, because in his case we were not only looking at the perfect spirit, we were also concerned with that which had to be presented to the Father. Though righteousness overcame the power of temptation, we have to be convinced that our mortal body has been involved in this redemption, because it reflects on his own body as far as righteousness with a view to immortality is concerned. This is so because not only was he “tempted in all points as us”, but he supposedly had the same body as us. If his mortal body was immortalised, it had to first be perfect. If he was already perfect, this then goes against the “made in all ways as us” if that is what it says? CHECK.
Otherwise we would have to accept that the body was just a carrier of the spirit, and didn’t matter in the scheme of things, other than as a device through which trial temptation and testing, could be applied.
I have taken the view that his body was like ours, and as such, carries all the problems of the flesh including temptation, weakness, fear, darkness of spirit and etc. The fact of separation from his father (calling him “God”) means that he was suffering all that we suffer because of SIN “IN THE FLESH”. If there is no “sin in the flesh”, then what was it that he bore? And if he endured “hell” for us, it was because he was also taking upon himself the responsibility for sin.
Paul in Romans 7 spoke of this matter and concluded that his flesh was in control, BECAUSE OF THE INTERNALISED NATURE OF SIN. And next we meet the question “was it only the contamination from others sin that caused us to go astray also?”
Separation from God is not a problem if we are innocent. It is only a problem if we are guilty. [in fact it is this guilt that causes the perceived separation]. Adam left Heaven as a guilty man. Did his guilt carry over to other generations? According to scripture it did so. “Unto the fourth generation”. Being separated from God would not have been a problem in itself, for Jesus. But having OUR NATURE and being separated from God would be a huge problem, since it was only the presence of God that was his strength at that time. And I see that this problem did indeed exist.
There is no way he could have been contaminated with our sin outside of it being inherent in our nature, the nature that he also bore/wore. He had remained isolated and unaffected – isolated because He kept sin (our sin) at arms length, did not “fall”, therefore was not “contaminated”. His contamination had to be pre-existent and internalised.
If we conclude this, then we can conclude that the source of his temptation was internalised also. Be that as it may, his body that was just like ours, which included latent mental structures predisposed to corruption, but which he had isolated like a “foreign body” or even foreign entity, was deficient and faulty because the mechanism that had been set into play by Adam’s disobedience was common to all men and would “rear its ugly head” regardless of individuality.
Paul in Romans 7 found that there was “sin in the flesh”. It is this very situation that had to be common to Jesus, also. Paul was overcome by it. Jesus was not. Yet Jesus had to prove that righteousness in its mercy, could deal with it through love. When the relationship between God and Jesus was “suspended” because Jesus entered into his internal darkness that we are, he had to rely on his own righteousness by which to overcome and gain the victory. It is this righteousness that returned the state of his body to perfection, healing it, restoring it, renewing it. Worthy of immortality. Suffering in the inner conflict.
If the body were just a vehicle for the spirit, man would be without representation because both his spirit and his body were contaminated. Yes Jesus came as a perfect spirit but he had to inhabit an imperfect body. If his spirit was all there was to it then it was really “no contest” because this spirit was always going to emerge unscathed.
As a result, Jesus became the first fruits of all creation. The body is not unimportant, especially when we consider Jesus. It has been said that “There is now dust in Heaven”. Meaning that the flesh and blood creation has emerged from the mire and triumphed over the sin condition. But it can only do it through Jesus because of the need to draw on Him and His resources. We have to be “IN HIM”. He will take care of the perfection process in us.
And so to the “lamb without spot or blemish”. At face value, he was perfect in all ways. But we know that, contrary to old testament sacrifices, he had this imperfect body of ours. Yet the concept meets common approval, just as the simple “blood sacrifice” of the cross meets common approval. But it runs deeper than this. HE was perfect, but HE was the son of God, inhabiting yet denying the flesh its “power”. Until his son-ship was tested. Then its power and His power clashed in conflict “on the cross”. Righteousness met unrighteousness, love met internal opposition to itself and overcame it. Much more than just temptation..